What Is Coleslaw?
The word "coleslaw" comes from the Dutch word, "koolsla," "kool" meaning cabbage and "sla" meaning lettuce or salad. The word entered our English language from the Dutch in New York in the late 1700s. Since then it has been a featured side dish at almost every picnic or barbecue in America.
Video: How to Make Classic Coleslaw
Ingredients for Easy Coleslaw
We have homemade coleslaw at least once a week, usually with fish, and often with burgers or hot dogs. This coleslaw recipe (our way of preparing it) is ridiculously easy with cabbage, carrot, and onions gently mixed and coated with mayonnaise, a dab of yellow mustard, vinegar, and black pepper.
Coleslaw Recipe Modifications
We also often make this coleslaw recipe without mayonnaise. Sometimes we dress it simply with seasoned rice vinegar. Sometimes we add some shredded green apple to the mix. You can easily adjust these coleslaw ingredients for your taste.
Are you a coleslaw eater? If so, what's your favorite way of preparing it?
More Easy Slaw Recipes
- Asian Coleslaw
- No-Mayo Coleslaw
- Broccoli Slaw with Cranberry Orange Dressing
- Hot Dogs with Spicy Kimchi Slaw
- Crispy Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw
How to Cut Cabbage for Coleslaw
With a sharp chef's knife, slice the cabbage in quarters from the top through the core. Lay each wedge on its side and cut out its tough core. You can then use the knife to julienne the cabbage into strips or use a mandoline to slice the cabbage.
You can also shred the cabbage using a food processor with a slicing disc. Be sure to core the cabbage before feeding it into the food processor.
How to Store Coleslaw for Later
This coleslaw dressing will draw moisture out of the vegetables, eventually making the coleslaw watery. But sometimes freshly dressed coleslaw can be too firm and not as flavorful. Get that sweet spot by making this coleslaw a couple of hours ahead of time and refrigerating it until serving. If, after tasting it, you think it needs more salt, add it right before serving.
Refrigerate leftovers for 3 to 5 days; it will become water, but will still be enjoyable.
You can slice the vegetables and make the dressing a day before serving; store separately in covered containers in the refrigerator. About 2 hours before serving, toss and place back in the refrigerator. Taste and season with salt, if needed, right before serving.
What To Do if Your Coleslaw Vegetables Are Too Wet
Grating vegetables - particularly carrots - with a box grater can leave them wet and mushy. If your vegetables end up watery, use paper towels to absorb as much of the water as possible.
What Other Ingredients Work in Coleslaw?
You can add these other crispy fruits and vegetables to coleslaw.
- Green apples
- Broccoli stems
If you are making a lot of coleslaw, it's easiest to use a mandoline to slice the cabbage.
However you slice the cabbage, you'll have an easier time of it if you cut the head first in quarters, from the top through the core. Then lay a quarter wedge of cabbage on its side and cut out the core.
4 cups thinly sliced cabbage (green or purple, or a mix)
1 carrot, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar or wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
Salt, to taste
Assemble the salad:
Place the cabbage, carrot, and onions in a large bowl. Add the dressing ingredients and gently mix so that all of the shredded cabbage is coated with the dressing.
Taste, Season, and Serve:
Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.